Directly impacted families:
Before the arrival of tourists, Cartagena was populated by people of African descent. Just beyond the walls of the city is La Boquilla, a traditional fishing village close to the Caribbean Sea and full of mangroves. Ecotours La Boquilla is a project formed by the fishermen to improve the quality of life of their community and the surrounding environment. They use tourism to let people know about their traditional culture and protect the mangroves. Along with taking visitors on a tour of the ecosystem, they invite guests to experience a day of traditional fishing. These activities are complemented by classes in Caribbean cooking and cumbia drumming. Travelers get a sense of Afro-Colombian culture, and see an authentic side of the country off the beaten tourism trail.
Involvement of V Social
The VSocial Foundation has been supporting this project since 2018. We were able to help add an international component to their tourism efforts, as well as provide financing so that they were able to be certified as a community tourism project. During the pandemic, we contributed to food sustainability initiatives. VSocial has provided training workshops to Ecotours La Boquilla, as well as funds for infrastructure and machinery. We also send travelers from Viventura and other agencies to support local tourism efforts.
Directly impacted families:
Support for Ecotours La Boquilla
EUR 1,673 - Participation in the first V Social Encounter
Ivan, member at La Boquilla, participated in the inaugural annual gathering of projects funded by V Social in Colombia in November. During this event, 16 projects hailing from various corners of Latin America convened in person to engage in discussions about lessons learned and to strategize for the upcoming year, 2024. Our primary goal is to empower the beneficiaries with a more influential role in decision-making within V Social, allowing them to shape the organization's priorities and focus areas. This approach places a greater emphasis on the voices of those we serve. Notably, for many participants, this event marks their first opportunity to travel outside their home country, adding an extra layer of significance to this transformative gathering. The allocated amount for this support is an estimate derived from the total costs incurred in organizing the gathering.
EUR 1,800 - Support for the purchase of kayaks
To improve its operational capacity and biodiversity monitoring, three kayaks were purchased that will allow Ecotours La Boquilla to improve its operation and safety for tourism activities.
Approximately 25 families, hired or connected to tourism and culture in La Boquilla, benefit from this project. This means not only those providing tourist services, but also those supplying food or goods to visitors. Importantly, it gives opportunities to the Black community who have been displaced by mass tourism in Cartagena or faced racial discrimination. Ecotours La Boquilla’s focus on the environment and responsible fishing has helped to preserve the fragile ecosystem. These combined efforts have made the project a national benchmark for tourism initiatives.